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NIGERDOCK: FG To Lift Suspension; Sambo Declares NIMS Open

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NIGERDOCK: FG To Lift Suspension; Jarmakani says 'We Employed More Nigerians than our Peers

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, stated this recently when he visited the firm in Lagos in the company of the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye and some Management Staff of the Ministry.

The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to lift the suspension order on Nigerdock following its willingness to abide by the rules and its contributions to the growth of the National economy. 

Addressing the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani and other officials of the company, the Minister pointed out that the reason why they were suspended was as a result of complaints from other Terminal Operators, saying Nigerdock had operating advantages over them. 

“What led to your suspension was that I received complaints from Terminal Operators, saying that you are not on the same level with them. In the sense that they pay more to the government than you do. You’re likely to attract freight at much lower cost to the detriment of their businesses”,  the Minister disclosed. 

He, therefore, urged them to liaise with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to work out all the operational licenses needed to enable them operate and the latter will forward the same to the Minister of Transportation whose prerogative it is to give approvals. 

Speaking further, the Minister said: “We will never do anything to undermine the things you are doing here in terms of generating wealth and jobs for Nigerians.  The only thing we are saying is that the law should be followed. We should not encourage lawlessness “. 

Responding, the CEO, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani, said the firm has taken notable steps in this regard as they have been granted bonded permits by the Nigerian Customs and they are currently working with Nigerian Ports Authority to ensure all processes of getting the needed approvals are followed accordingly. 

NIMS: When Transportation Minister, Sambo Declares Summit Open...

“We are seeking your support Honourable Minister and that is why we wrote a letter of appeal for your guidance and your support to see that we have followed all processes and procedures” Jarmakani stated. 

Furthermore, Jarmakani informed the Minister that in the 30 years of its existence, Nigerdock has employed more Nigerians than its peers, assuring that the company will not undermine the country’s extant rules and regulations.

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TICT Debunks Alleged Plans to Retrench Workers over Acquisition by MSC

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TICT Debunks Alleged Plans to Retrench Workers over Acquisition by MSC

The Tin-Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) on Monday assured workers that it has no plans to embark on any retrenchment exercise, despite the acquisition of the African Logistics business (BAL) of its parent company, Bolloré Group by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). 

In a meeting with leaders of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Monday, TICT Managing Director, Mr. Etienne Rocher, assured that the acquisition will not have any adverse effect on the jobs and workers of the company. 

“There will be no change in obligations on the part of the company towards employees and vice versa,” Mr. Rocher said. 

He said that all obligations arising from existing contracts with the company will continue to be in force. 

He specifically stressed that the services of TICT workers remain relevant to the company, even after the acquisition. 

Recall that MSC announced in April that it had reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the African logistic business of Paris-based Bolloré Group. The agreement followed exclusive negotiations between the two parties initiated in December 2021. 

MSC’s acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics comprises all of Bolloré Group’s transport and logistics activities in Africa, including shipping, logistics, and terminals operations, as well as terminal operations in India, Haiti and in Timor-Leste.

Bolloré Africa Logistics is the biggest transport and logistics operator in Africa with nearly 21,000 employees in 49 countries, including 47 in Africa.

“The acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics reaffirms MSC Group’s longstanding commitment to invest in Africa and to strengthen supply chains across the continent, as well as connecting it to the rest of the world,” MSC had said in a statement.

Closing of the deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2023 at the latest.

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Economy

Editor’s Pick: Nigeria is in Good Shape, not Broke, says Finance Minister 

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N206Bn Insertion: Senate committee summons Finance Minister over Humanitarian Affairs Ministry Budget 

…Only that revenue isn’t enough to meet Government’s Expenditure***

Despite the precarious state of the economy, the pathetic status of the Naira and the rising debt profile, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, says Nigeria is not broke, but in good economic standing.  

Ahmed spoke at the 6th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s scorecard, tagged “PMB Scorecard 2015-2023”, organised by the Ministry of Information on Thursday in Abuja.

She said that the country had continued to generate revenue on a regular basis, which is distributed to all the tiers of government.

She added that the country had recorded significant growth in non-oil revenue while improving oil revenue that had dwindled in the last few years.

“We continue to generate revenue on a monthly basis and these revenues are distributed at the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

“Again, to continue with the tradition of transparency, we actually disclose how much is distributed on a monthly basis to the various tiers of government.

“We have witnessed a significant increase in non-oil revenue.

“While oil revenue is underperforming because of criminality, recently NNPC has reported that this has been curtailed and we are already beginning to see the pick up in the production volumes which are that more revenues have started to come to the Federation,” she said.

She said in spite of those remarkable improvements, revenue is still not enough to meet the expenditure of the government, thus necessitating the resort to borrowings.

She, however, said that such borrowings were guided by certain strategies to ensure sustainability.

“Our borrowings have been practical. They are sustainable, they are guarded by debt management strategies.

“There is a debt management board that is chaired by the Vice President, the ministers of Justice, Finance and other ministers as well as the Debt Management Office (DMO).

“The debt management is being followed religiously and our debt is sustainable,” she said.

She added that at 33 percent debt-to-GDP ratio, Nigeria is still the lowest when placed beside countries with equal comparatives.

According to her, “there are no plans to restructure the debt. We do not have to restructure because we have a debt strategy that could be followed closely.

“We make provision in our budgets for debt servicing. It is taken as a first-line charge so we have not defaulted on any loan, external or local.

“So we are comfortable in terms of our ability to pay our debts, so we are not going for any debt relief and we are not going for any debt restructuring,” she said.

Ahmed, however, reiterated that the country is faced with revenue challenges.

“But again, I say we do have a revenue problem despite the increase in revenue because our performance of 8 percent of GDP shows that the revenue is not enough.

“We are a population of 200 million people, and we have a lot of demands on government, both state and federal, to provide service.

“We have to keep working to find out how we can incentivise and enhance the business environment so that small business enterprises can thrive.

“They should be the largest employer of labour and should be the largest contributors to the GDP,” she said.

According to her, it is for those reasons we have reduced income taxes for the smallest businesses.

“We also reduced taxes for medium businesses from 30 percent to 22 percent, to revenues in their businesses to stabilise their businesses, especially during COVID,” she said.

On capital budget releases for 2022, the minister said that the government had so far released N1.7 trillion in a capital budget of N2.7 trillion.

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Economy

NIS Produces 10,846 Passports in 11 Months in Calabar 

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NIS Produces 10,846 Passports in 11 Months in Calabar 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Cross River Command, says a total of 10,846 passports were produced by the command between January and November 2022.

The state controller of the NIS, Chris Baikie, who disclosed this in Calabar on Thursday, said the figure included both E-Passport and the Enhanced E-Passport.

He noted that 1,966 Enhanced E-Passports that took effect from August were produced between August and November while the figure for the E-Passport produced was 8,880.

The controller lamented inadequate office space and manpower as the major challenge affecting operations in the command, however, noted that a total of 670 passports were uncollected within the same period.

Speaking on the issue of inadequate office space, Baikie stressed that this has encouraged indiscipline among staff and also impacted negatively on productivity.

According to him, “It is scandalously inadequate. We need space to offer quality service and for us to be very productive.

“The way we are all presently lumped together is counterproductive and encourages indiscipline where you have both junior and senior staff seated together in one small office.

“It also doesn’t help members of the public because we can’t give them the quality service they deserve.”

The controller said that the command has applied for 33.4 hectares of land from the Cross River government to address the issue.

On the manpower, Baikie said that the present 324 staff strength in the command needs to be doubled to effectively discharge their constitutional responsibility.

Similarly, he said, paucity of funds and lack of logistics were also a hindrance to the command’s operation.

“The only Hilux vehicle the command has is not in a good condition to go outside Calabar.

“You know also that it is part of our statutory responsibility to go round hotels for expatriates that are not cleared but can’t even do that because of lack of vehicles.

“Like the issue of office space, this is also affecting our operation across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state where we have offices,” he stated.

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